Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guest Blog: The Malloy Connection by John Milardo

 Below is a essay by John Milardo. All opinions expressed are that of the author and not necessarily that of the Insider staff.
The essay in its original format can be downloaded here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1hG3LNoxp6zqztie5Lkg7dNbpYiubr042XnUFYZ5ufa9WL5WZnKv-K0VVDNtT/edit?usp=sharing
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“And Justice For All” is a newsletter involving my opinions, views, and commentary as a life long Middletown resident. In my capacity as a former employee of Middletown (retired) for over 41 years, I have a different perspective regarding how and why public figures do what they do.

When Daniel Drew lost his first mayoral bid attempt to then republican Mayor Sebastian Giuliano in 2010, the local democrats had enough. Giuliano was a three (3) term republican Mayor in a democratically controlled city, and that had to end. (Quite frankly, in Middletown, any mayor who has more than a couple of terms under their belt is ripe for the picking – anyone being elected as mayor past three (3) terms is pretty amazing.) What could the democrats do to win the mayoral seat back?

The local democrats ran to Governor Dannel Malloy, and asked him for help. He endorsed democratic mayoral candidate Daniel Drew in 2012. The Governor made some personal appearances, and made sure Drew was in the public eye as much as possible – Drew became Mayor. We know Drew spends a lot of time in Hartford rubbing elbows with everyone. Maybe Malloy has bigger and better things planned for him? As like many politicians, I presume the Governor’s motive is power and control over Drew. He’s got Middletown’s mayor on his side for support no matter what the issue may be.

Why would Governor Dannel Malloy bring novice Mayor Daniel Drew with him on a trip to China? What could Drew offer Malloy or the Chinese? Did Drew learn about communism, poor wages and working conditions or forced labor? Did they bring back anything to the citizens of the State of Connecticut that would enhance our technology or manufacturing industries? I haven’t seen anything that the Chinese trip has done for our States economy.

One of the first things Mayor Drew did when elected was to authorize a committee to look into reorganizing and consolidating City of Middletown departments. It is said to be for the purpose of saving money and being more efficient. I can assure you it is for other reasons. Mayor Drew put the committee together and made sure it contained Governor Malloy insiders.

When negotiations began between the City of Middletown and Teamsters Local 671, Mayor Drew hired a law firm that had connections to the Malloy campaign. I can assure you, as I have first hand knowledge, that Mayor Drew is not very labor oriented or friendly.

When Governor Malloy recently informed Connecticut towns that State grants and subsidies were going to be eliminated and/or severely reduced, Mayor Drew said nothing. Other towns and Cities, no matter whether they were democrat or republican Mayors, decried the loss of State funding. Mayor Drew and his democratic council members have been silent. Get ready for July…. “Got Your Tax Bill… Round 2”.

Mayor Drew recently hired a new City Attorney named Brigham Smith, from Lansing Michigan. How could there be a Malloy connection? No way! Mr. Smith wants to be close to his family who moved back to Connecticut, and if you look really, really close … perhaps the former Mrs. Smith has a Stamford connection.

You can’t make this stuff up!

Stay strong. Stay involved. Stay together. Seek the truth.

Yours in Solidarity.
John Milardo

13 comments:

  1. Attorney Smith's wife (ex?) is a lawyer in Hartford working for the
    state. Her father owns an insurance company in Stamford. The wife went
    to Uconn and was possibly a few years a head of Drew. The couple then
    moved to DC for a few years before moving to Michigan.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This year's budget is going to be horrendous for the property owner in Middletown. The grand list has gone down, the governor is taking away PILOT funding and the City must fund the BOE at the same level as last year. The BOE and Council just approved new contracts with administrators and others at the BOE for pay increases and you will hear how their budget is driven by salary costs. Expect layoffs at the BOE at least. The Governor's budget, although not in anyway confirmed, is not helping Middletown in any way!! You'd have thought that the Mayor could have done better for us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The BOE is getting somewhere from $1.6 to $2.0 million dollars from the state this upcoming budget year. This will be a for the next two years. So layoffs should be off the table, but my feeling is they are going to say we need to eliminate programs ie: sports, music and such.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mr. Milardo both Mayor Drew and Mayor Giuliano do not, nor had the taxpayer of Middletown in mind. Lets not forget Mr. Giuliano gave one of the biggest gifts ever to city managers. In return for paying 10% more for their health insurance, he upped the pension calculation for retirement benefits to 2.50% per year worked from 2.25%. This was the ultimate gift. The 2.25 percent is above and beyond what Tier One state workers got in the good old days. 2.50 percent is insane. Work 20 years and you get 50 percent of your salary. I bet Mark Masselli is even upset about that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous 5:24 pm.
    When MMPA negotiated the contract you refer to, the increase of the pension plan had, and still does, have zero effect and cost to the taxpayer. The pension for general goverment employees has been 100% employee funded. It costs the taxpayer nothing.
    On the contrary, what Mayor Drew pushed through the pension board last year (not funding over $850,000 for Police and Fire) because the pension was 100% solvent, will come back to bite the taxpayers in the butt. Especially, if he trys to pull the same tactic this year.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The devil is in the details. Anonymous is slightly off is their statement, the increase from 2.25% to 2.5% was in exchange for paying a higher percentage of the medical premium at retirement based on the age at retirement for their lifetime should they choose that option for health insurance. Mayor Drew has topped that negotiated clause in the contract with his retirement incentive that he gave out in December for Teamster members. He was very generous with giving years of service, increased multiplier, reduction in premium payment at age 62 or a flat payment of 40K. Any savings????

    ReplyDelete
  7. To Anon. 5:24. You should calculate what this last giv a way to the teamster cost the city. Its no comparison to what Giuliano ever dremed of doing. All this to get red of 2 people who were thorns in the Democrats' side. Then nthey insulted the taxpayers by telling us it was saving us over $12 million. So where's the money ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. What Mr. Milardo fails to inform the public is that the generous health benefits that he and the wifeypoo get as retirees that most people can only dream of for a fraction of what the regular person pays are not funded by the employee pension plan. That, my friends is funded by the taxpayers in the regular budget.

    And Mr. Milardo also fails to tell you that the City is required to contribute to the pension plan if it falls below a certain level.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Johnny 5:24

    You can't bully the facts around, the pension has never been 100% employee funded, unless you consider all city taxes belong to the city employees.

    Reynolds built up the pension fund with those secret bond premiums, and the taxpayer is already funding police & fire pensions annually. When the actuaries catch up to the last few years of giveaways, there will be big contributions to cover the rest.

    Will you reduce your pension when that happens? In the spirit of 100% employee funding? Or will you do the usual and find someone else to blame?

    ReplyDelete
  10. First, to Anonymous 8:24am. The health benefits I recieved upon retirement are the same as if I had retired at anytime. Wifeypooh does not get her own health care, she is on my insurance. Not like other married employees who recieve the identical insurance for both spouses at twice the cost to the City. Secondly, there is no rule or law forcing the City to fund the pension at a certain level. They can let it fail, just like the States pension fund.

    To Anonymous 8:40am. The City pension plan began 6 or more decades ago, with the City putting in a small amount of money as did the employees. Since early 1970's, the City's has not contibuted any money in the pension for GENERAL goverment employees. Just the employees have been contributing to the pension since that time. This does not include Fire or Police. The actuaries divide the pension into three catagories-Fire, Police, and General Government, which are all other City employees. My statement was the pension has been employee funded by General governmet employees. There is a cost to the taxpayer for the other two branches of employees.
    If and when the pension's actuaries say the pension plan is under funded, blame Drew, not the employees who work and contribute to the plan. The retirement incentive is his idea, for a new form of City Government he wants to provide you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. BTW, the City's employees contribute a percentage of their pay to the pension fund that is then invested and supports the fund. The percentage is a negotiated items between the City and the Unions. The City makes contributions to the fund based on the actuary's recommendation and that amount to be paid is for the Fire and Police members.

    It needs to be stated that the amount contributed by the City, as we saw last year, is determined by the Mayor in his budget.

    The City employees do not and cannot for the most part participate in Social Security. Also, when they do apply for Social Security, the IRS has a couple of regulations that limit the amounts that they can collect just virtue of having been a municipal employee.

    So by having a pension plan, the City is not paying into Social Security for the majority of it's employees. That's an automatic savings of 6.2% of TOTAL COMPENSATION paid. Considering how healthy the Pension Fund is, that's a real bargain for the taxpayers.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mr. Milardo if the city managers pension fund is totally funded by employee contributions and has been since the 70's,then the person or persons who manage that money should be running a hedge fund. What percentage of salary do employees contribute? I'm sure your correct but I really find this hard to believe that the city has not kicked in some money over the years. To collect 50 percent of say a 100K salary after 20 years you need a nice chunk of money to fund that defined benefit.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous 7:41pm.
    Our pension board has made very good investments over the years, and continue to do so. Our Finance Director can show you the facts.

    ReplyDelete

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